An article entitled, “Price of elder care soars as demand increases, baby boomers age,” was published on TheHill.com on August 13, 2023. The article discusses how the cost of caring for aging or ailing family members in the U.S. has risen dramatically in recent years in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult day centers. With insufficient support from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, many family caregivers are forced to deplete their limited funds to cover expenses.
HCAOA submitted a Letter to the Editor in response to the article informing them of the cost-effectiveness of home care for seniors and people with disabilities since it was not addressed. HCAOA strives to be part of the conversation and continually seeks opportunities to support the home care industry and provide education when needed. A copy of the letter is below.
I am writing in response to Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech’s article, “Price of elder care soars as demand increases, baby boomers age,” published August 13, which discusses the rising costs of senior care. You addressed the common institutional settings for senior care, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and even touched on adult day centers. However, you neglected to mention the most cost-effective type of care for seniors and people with disabilities – which is also the most preferred: care at home.
You are correct about the strain the aging Baby Boomer generation is putting on America’s healthcare systems and reimbursement structures. They were simply not designed for a nation that will soon have more older people (65+) than young (18 and under), many of whom are living longer, fuller lives with their chronic conditions managed. Home care has emerged as a valuable solution to fill gaps created by the institutional settings mentioned above.
Planning and saving for future long-term care needs will require multiple options based on one’s ability to save and projected care needs. Saving for care in old age should be as top-of-mind as saving for education when a child is born. Government and private-sector stakeholders must prioritize financing for care and develop a suite of options to fit the diverse financial and care needs of older Americans.
“You can’t finance these 100-year lives purely by public purse or purely by private purse. You need the two to come together.” - Surya Kolluri, Managing Director, Bank of America.
While not covered by Medicare, there are several proposals to make this cost more sustainable in the long run. One in particular is H.R. 1795, Homecare for Seniors Act, sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE-3). This bill allows tax-exempt distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) to be used for home care. This is just one proposal that could ease the cost of care.
We appreciate you highlighting the rising cost of senior care and wanted to provide you with a viable, cost-effective option seniors and people with disabilities have to remain comfortably at home with professional care.
Home Care Association of America